The Garden of Eden doesn't have a monopoly on tempting fruit. Legends from many cultures describe paradise as a garden laden with fruit trees. Long before the development of chocolate, fruit was seen as a natural pleasure. And while apple, pear and other fruit trees date back to prehistoric times, they have also earned a home in the Midwest, where university and commercial breeding programs have developed new hybrids.
Legend says that during the turn of the 19th century, a man from Massachusetts named John Chapman headed west with a bag of apple seeds. His goal was to plant apple orchards so that settlers on the American Frontier would have fruit to add to their diets in addition to game and fish. Thanks to this man, who is remembered as Johnny Appleseed, apples have become a staple fruit tree throughout Ohio and Indiana. Because of the prominence of apple trees in this region, new American hybrids such as the Rome apple and the disease resistant Goldrush have their origins in the Ohio Valley region.
Pawpaws are a fruit that is native to the temperate zones of North America. Thanks to Native American migration, the tree grows all the way from Texas to the Great Lakes region. In warmer southern climate zones it is evergreen, but in colder climates the tree is deciduous. PawPaw trees are small trees that grow in clusters and produce large leaves as well as fruit. The fruit, which is actually a berry, is the largest fruit native to the North American continent. It's range is apparent in its varying names, which include Kentucky Banana, Ozark Banana, Hoosier Banana and Poor Man's Banana.
Although various species of mulberry plants are grown throughout the world, the red Mulberry is native to North America. The mulberry tree produces multi-segmented fruits similar in appearance to blackberries. Unlike white and black mulberry trees, the red mulberry is hardyy in sub-zero weather. The tree is deciduous, and prefers full sun and well-drained, loamy soil. When grown from seed, mulberry trees can take up to 10 years to bear fruit. The preferred method to propagate mulberry trees is bud grafting.
The fruit that is known as Juneberry in the United States is known as the sugarplum or Saskatoon in other regions. This fruit grows in clusters of six to 12 berries on small deciduous trees. The plant is native to the entire northern hemisphere and grows prolifically in the northern great plains of the United States and Southern Canada. In some regions, the plant is treated as an ornamental shrub and grown in hedges.